The Vandals

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Luke Neary Collection


The Vandals - recording for "Radio With Pictures" at the old Christchurchurch Civic Centre, Manchester Street circa 1977/78
Al Park, Bob Ogilvie, Tony Peake, Luke Neary and Charles White - also featuring an unidentified female singer on the night (seen to the left)


The Vandals were an uneasy alliance of the old and the new.  Charles White, guitarist with R&B rockers Maud and The Kippers (The Kippers) wanted in on the hot emerging sound so he tapped local identity, Al Park, to join him.  Park brought Tony Peake along to sing, and backed by The Kippers' rhythm section, Luke Neary (Bass) and Bob Ogilvie (Drums), they became known for their fast, funny and danceable punk sound and Peake's distinct look, as seen on the front page of The Press in late 1977 - pointed Beatle boots, tight black jeans and green hair, smoke dangling from the side of his mouth and shades.  Fingered in the story as Christchurch's first punk, he'd point instead to Christine and Robin Neate, who were just back from England.  Luke Neary's understanding of this is that Tony Peake was approached by TVNZ with Al Park involved in some way, to create a punk band that they could record for Radio with Pictures.  They had tried some real Auckland punk bands but they were uncontrollable and just couldn't really play well enough.  This included Luke's old girlfriend, Shona Bruce's band The Idle Idols - Shona was the drummer.  So, with Tony and Al Park on board, Luke, Bob Ogilvie and Charles White formed a core and thus appeared The Vandals.  Luke wanted to call it Throbbing Dead Vicars but was over-ruled.  By then Al had put the Mollett Street thing together and The Vandals did some live acts there.  That was fun, and at this point, one of the real Christchurch punk bands had a song called Charlie White, do you want a fight - Luke thinks Charles liked the notoriety!


Tony Peake recalled that the Vandals had only two original songs - Politicians are Cannibals and Get Vandalised.  The Vandals did a 45 minute gig for TVNZ's Radio With Pictures that included Gimmee Gimmee Shock Treatment and Love Comes In Spurts.  Dr Rock (the Radio with Pictures Compère) called The Vandals "Top of the Christchurch punk rock slag pile."  In March 1978, Peake and Park pulled out to join The Aliens.  Luke Neary muses that the real punks quite disliked The Vandals 'cos it was a joke really and they knew it - Bob, Charles and Luke could actually play.  However, the hard-core punksters still turned up at live gigs